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Intelligence is a general mental capability that involves the ability reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas/language, and learn. While the definition and importance of intelligence is an issue of some controversy, especially in the popular press, a concensus opinion exists in the scientific community on many issues.

When considering animal intelligence[?], a more general definition of intelligence might be applied: the "ability to adapt effectively to the environment, either by making a change in oneself or by changing the environment or finding a new one" (Encyclopædia Britannica).

Intelligence, narrowly defined, can be measured by intelligence tests (see IQ). They are among the most accurate psychological tests, but they are not intended to measure creativity, personality, or character. Intelligence tests take many forms, but they all measure the same intelligence. The general factor measured by each intelligence test is known as g (see g theory[?]).

Other researchers have proposed a wider definition of intelligence, encompassing abilities not always measured by intellgience tests. The Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner[?] has proposed a theory of multiple intelligences which includes logical, linguistic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, intra-personal and inter-personal intelligences. Daniel Goleman and several other researchers have done extensive work on emotional intelligence.

Proponets of multiple-intelligence theories often claim that g is only an academic ability and that there are other co-equal intelligences, which are independent of g and important outside of school. In response, g theorists have argued that multiple intelligences have not been borne out when actually tested[1] and that g actually has a substantial impact on personal affairs, including job performance[2].

There is also work on the meaning of collective intelligence, and on artificial intelligence or making computer systems more intelligent.

[1] Hunt, E. (2001). Multiple views of multiple intelligence. [Review of Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligence in the 21st century.] Contemporary Psychology, 46, 5-7.

[2] Campbell, J. P. (1990). The role of theory in industrial and organizational psychology. In M. D. Dunnette & L.M Hough (Eds.). Handbook of industrial-organizational psychology 2nd ed.), Vol. 1 (pp. 39-74). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

Intelligence is also used in a diferent sense, to describe the process of covertly gathering and analysing otherwise secret information. See espionage, intelligence agencies. In yet another sense, Business intelligence denotes the public or secret information that an organization obtains about its competitors and market.

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